Jackie Robinson grew up during a time in history where Jim Crow Laws enforced segregation policies among White and Black Americans. These rules impacted him throughout his youth and baseball career. As a young boy, his family lived with housing injustices in his neighborhood and he had to follow segregation guidelines where he was educated. Once joining Major League Baseball, Jackie and his wife had to abide by these laws when traveling, by sitting in separate compartments from his teammates and eating in segregated areas of restaurants. He spoke out against Jim Crow Laws by criticizing hotels that would not accommodate him on the road and to teams who refused to hire black players. His integration into major league baseball was a major setback to segregation everywhere, causing other racial barriers to fall.
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American in the major leagues when he plays his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie demonstrated tremendous strength in keeping his temper in check when he encountered racism from both baseball fans, opposing teams and even his own teammates. This harsh treatment and verbal abuse did not affect his performance on the ball field. He proved to be a gentleman and courageously showed his athleticism and talent in baseball by receiving well-deserved titles for his achievements. These qualities enabled him to become deeply respected by Americans and admired for being a role model for African Americans by breaking the color barrier in baseball.
Jackie Robinson is remembered for integrating major league baseball, but he also left behind an equally impressive record as a crusader for African-American rights after his athletic career ended. After Jackie retired from baseball in 1957, he switched careers to spend more time with his family. He joined the Chock Full O' Nuts coffee company as an executive in Personnel. He later joined the NAACP and was elected to their Board of Directors. This involvement enabled Jackie to join Dr. Martin Luther King as honorary chairmen of the Youth March for Integrated Schools. He began writing a syndicated newspaper column giving his voice to matters of race relations, family life and politics. He was a founder of the black-owned Freedom National Bank, which provided loans and services to the minority community. Jackie Robinson is remembered for being a dedicated Civil Rights activist by breaking down barriers in racism and starting opportunities for African Americans in professional sports.
This biography by Jackie Robinson's daughter combines her words with his letters and family photos to paint a vivid portrait of one of the most famous baseball players in history. This resource provides a closer look into how segregation played a unique role in Jackie's childhood, his education and military experience. Sharon Robinson describes the 'real' Jackie Robinson, as a loving husband, devoted father, incredibly talented baseball player who is most famously known for being the first African American recruited into Major League Baseball.